SCC receives donation from CoreTrans for new truck driver program

Above, from left to right: Sue Strunk, controller at CoreTrans, Chris Nicholas, director of maintenance, Brian Whitaker, president of CoreTrans, Dr. Carey Castle, Somerset Community College president, Dr. Clint Hayes, senior vice president of academic affairs, Alesa Johnson, vice president of Workforce Solutions, Eric Harris, program facilitator of Workforce Solutions, Cindy Clouse, vice president of institutional advancement at SCC. | Photo contributed

SOMERSET -Thanks to a generous donation from CoreTrans, Somerset Community College (SCC) is one-step closer to starting a new truck driver-training program offering competitive wages and job security in a profession that is desperate for drivers.

CoreTrans donated a 2007 Volvo sleeper truck to SCC that will be used to train students enrolled in the College's new commercial driver's license (CDL) or truck driver training program starting in the fall.

President of CoreTrans Brian Whitaker presented SCC President Carey Castle with the truck at the company's headquarters in Somerset at a meeting between executives from both organizations. In addition to the donation, the meeting was also an opportunity for CoreTrans executives to visit with SCC to hear first-hand the many educational offerings available for current and future students and employees.

"We are so appreciative to CoreTrans for their truck donation for our new CDL program," adds Castle. "This will not only help us get this program up and running, but it will help us immediately produce trained and qualified graduates who can in turn join the trucking industry, one that literally keeps our state and nation moving by transporting goods all across the country."

"Improved access to technical education and the career opportunities generated by that education can enhance the lives and well-being of our neighbors," shares Whitaker. "CoreTrans is pleased to contribute to Somerset Community College's new Commercial Driver's License program and provide important support for our community's future."

There is a tremendous shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. - about 300,000, according to Bloomberg. Kentucky is no different, and with more than 13,000 trucking companies in the Commonwealth, that means jobs are plentiful.

Best of all, driving a commercial vehicle pays well. The Kentucky Trucking Association reports in 2016, total trucking industry wages paid in Kentucky exceeded $5.0 billion with an average annual trucking industry salary of $44,843.

"There is a great shortage of drivers in part, due to the aging of truck drivers, many reaching retirement age in the last few years, and not enough new drivers are entering the profession. That coupled with major growth in the economy and the need for more drivers means we are left with a shortage that needs to be filled immediately," explains Alesa Johnson, SCC's Vice President of Workforce Solutions. "These factors led SCC to opening a new truck driver training program to meet the growing shortage of drivers and meet the needs of our community."

The mission of CoreTrans, is to provide safe, on-time delivery of customer freight at a competitive rate with the most efficient and responsive customer service in the industry. CoreTrans work to improve and expand education is an integral part of the company's commitment to be a valued partner with the local community.

For more information about Somerset Community College's CDL program, please contact Eric Harris, at 606-451-6786 or eric.harris@kctcs.edu.

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